One of my colleagues was specifically told by his supervisor not to apply for an open position. Somehow, that doesn’t sound right to me. Is that actually discrimination? This person is more than qualified for the open position but the supervisor wants to put him in a different role. However, can she just tell him you can’t apply?

Posted  11-12-2014

Ann Kiernan replies:

It is only illegal discrimination if the supervisor’s statement is based on the employee’s race, age, sexual orientation, etc., and it sounds like there is no evidence of that.

If the employee is in a union, I would imagine that this would violate the collective bargaining agreement.  If the job is civil service, I assume this would violate the personnel regulations.  Does your employer have an employee handbook? I’ll bet it says something about encouraging employees to seek opportunities to advance. I suggest that your colleague go speak to Human Resources about this. I hope this helps.

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